December 2004 Archives

Tipperary Institute - Ceramic Fireworks Exhibition Photos


I made some practical use of my Fuji f700 camera and tripod and took some photos of the Ceramic Fireworks Exhibits that was recently held in Tipperary Institute. There was some amazing pieces on display and for sale.

Firefox emerges from under the radar


A sure sign of a browsers emerging adoption by internet users can be ascertained by analysing the agent section of your web log stats to that end visitors using firefox to read have grown from 11.23 % in Oct, 12.57% in Nov to 23.36% in Dec.

My colleague Bernie GoldBach has been writing quiet favourably about this browser. I've installed at home on my Windows XP ISDN dial up pc, Redhat Linux 9 laptop and Windows 2000 office pc and its quiet impressive, especially over the ISDN connection at home. I first came across firefox in August when downloading some updates for the mozilla browser for my linux laptop. It was very impressive on linux and the install was simple and fast. Since then its emerged as a potential heavy weight rival to Microsoft's IE.

Intel Network Processor Programming


Intel have an article on their website that can be downloaded free gratis

Programming the Ready Bus for Intel IXP1200

simplescalar arm - undefined reference to errno


I managed to fix simpescalar arm.

A post pointed me in the right direction.

The solution is to delete the if statement for cygwin 32 at the start of eval.c and range.c and place a #include at the start of these files.

Also remove the if statement later on in the file that declares extern int errno.

Simplescalar install


I have been attempting to install Simplescalar onto my laptop for the past few days. As a result of this I accidently wiped my knoppix installation from my vmware environment. I discovered some install instructions that finally worked but it meant that I had to install RedHat ver 9.

Dr. Narahari provides some good instructions about how to install it. The one thing I would stress is that you must unpack all packages first!!!.

My usual approach is to unpack a package at a time and install, with simplescalar however some of the packages depend on libraries from other packages that haven't been installed such as simple-tools which contains the majority of the header files. So 3 days later I now have a working version of simpelscalar.

With new found optimisim I decided to install Simplescalar version for the ARM platform as Simplescalar handles MIPS instructions not ARM. The cross compiler kit has installed o.k but simplesim-arm is crashing out on errors with eval.c. There is a patch out there that might help.

A review of the Kensington WiFi Finder


At Tipperary Institute we are preparing to teach the Cisco Wireless Fundamentals course, as part of this course we obtained a number of wifi finders so as to assess their suitability when compared to using PDA's or laptops to locate WIFI hot spots.

What we discovered was that the laptops and PDA's are capable of detecting the hotspots from a greater distance due to the power that they can feed to the antennae when compared to the WIFI finder. The Wifi finder however is smaller and lighter, I would describe it being the size of a credit card and about 0.5 cm in thickness. It typically detects a hot spot when you are within 10 - 15 meters of the Access Point

Kounavis et al have written a paper describing the design, implementation and evaluation of NetBind, a high performance, flexible and scalable binding tool for dynamically constructing data paths in network processor-based routers. The methodology that underpins NetBind balances the flexibility of network programmability against the need to process and forward packets at line speeds.

Programming the Data Path in Network Processor-Based Routers

My Personality, if it was an OS


Dilbert - Explanation of Video Compression


For an alternative explanation of video compression, have a look the following dilbert comic strip

SimpleScalar - An Open Source Simulator for Academics


I am currently experimenting with SimpleScalar which I why I have been updating my site for the past few days.

SimpleScalar can emulate the Alpha, PISA, ARM, and x86 instruction sets. The tool set includes a machine definition infrastructure that permits most architectural details to be separated from simulator implementations. All of the simulators distributed with the current release of SimpleScalar can run programs from any of the above listed instruction sets. Complex instruction set emulation (e.g., x86) can be implemented with or without microcode, making the SimpleScalar tools particularly useful for modeling CISC instruction sets.

SimpleScalar was created by Todd Austin. Development began while he was a Ph.D. student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Early versions of the tool set included contributions by Doug Burger and Guri Sohi. Today, SimpleScalar is developed and supported by SimpleScalar LLC.

According to Bill Yuricks website on Computer Architecture web sites
"in 2000 more than one third of all papers published in top computer architecture conferences used the SimpleScalar tools to evaluate their designs"
It was this comment that prompted me to have a look at the tool.

SimpleScalar LLC distribute their software under an open source model, trusting that the users will license the software that they use. The software is free for academic and research use.

The tool set is distributed with all source code, making it possible for users extend SimpleScalar, and to adapt existing models to their own ideas.

SimpleScalar Tool Set

New search engine - /


I keep a close eye on my weblogs so as to ascertain why people are visiting the site. My traffic levels are not that high, but I am interested as to who is reading my content. One thing I have noticed lately is that Microsoft have been crawling through all my pages.

Microsoft has now been surpassed by which is transitioning to describes itself as "Become, Inc. is a venture-funded start-up that is building the next generation search engine for shopping. We are developing an innovative new search engine technology that will significantly improve the online shopping experience."

The people behind are the same people who masterminded , Michael Yamg and Yeogirl Yun.

Computer Architecture Simulators


I came across this website today and was very impressed with the comprehensive list of simulators.

The Simulators are classified under the headings

Papers on Teaching with Computer System Simulators (authored by Bill Yurcik)
Historic Machine Simulators
Digital Logic Simulators
Theoretical Machine Simulators
Novice Hypothetical Machine Simulators
Intermediate Instruction Set Simulators
Advanced Microarchitecture Simulators
Multi-Processor Simulators (including Multi-Processor Interconnection Network Simulators)
Memory and Operating System Simulators
Embedded Processor Simulators
Quantum Computer Simulators
Miscellaneous Simulators
Meta Lists of Simulator Links and Tool Sets

Risc Evolution - Radical Chip Multithreading


David Yen an executive vice president at Sun Microsystems writes in cnet about te next wave of RISC processors. Due to declines in clock frequency, increases in Memory access and power budgets. It is now necessary to reassess the RISC architecture.

At Sun, they've termed this brave new future of RISC processor design radical chip multithreading (CMT). Radical CMT processors are designs crafted from the ground up to employ available resources as efficiently as possible in pursuit of their throughput goal. We're not talking about executing two to four threads in parallel, but 30 or more threads simultaneously.

Eyeing the next wave in RISC computing

Spim - An Open Source RISC Simulator


As part of my phd research I require an open source RISC simulator. The candidate that seems to fit that profile is Spim.

Spim implements almost the entire MIPS32 assembler-extended instruction set. (It omits some complex floating point comparisons and rounding modes and details of the memory system page tables.) The MIPS architecture has several variants that differ in various ways (in particular, the MIPS64), which means that spim will not run programs compiled for all MIPS-based processors.

It was developed by James Larus, formerly: Professor, Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison,currently: Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research.

Spim has the option to be cycle accurate and is available for Windows and Linux platforms.

If anyone is aware of any other RISC cycle accurate simulators, please email lnoonan_blog at

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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Irish Eyes
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Damien Mulley
James Corbett (Eirepeneur)
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